Economic Sanctions on Iran and Nuclear Medicine

Document Type: Editorial


Nuclear Medicine Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences


"It is not a wise choice!", this was the reaction of my father when I applied for nuclear medicine residency program 26 years ago. The old retired officer continued that hi-tech nuclear medicine is dependent on multiple advanced sections that may not be easily available especially in the developing countries. Now he is not alive to see that political misconducts have added fuel to the fire.
Global shortage of Technetium-99m in recent years revealed the vulnerability of nuclear medicine and dependency of our clinical departments on the policies of the governments to support production of radiotracers (1). Although the mission of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world", its application is highly affected by local governmental policies (2)
Recent unilateral withdrawal of USA from Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action-JCPOA) followed by imposing economic, trade and financial sanctions against Iran, has deleterious effect on nuclear medicine either on supply of radiotracers or spare parts of nuclear medicine devices (3). Although medicine is apparently not included in the list of sanctions, secondary sanction, aviation and transport embargo as well as financial restrictions, made it extremely difficult for medical companies to be able to do any transaction. Payment for the drugs or instruments and shipment of the goods to and from Iran have turned to a lengthy, difficult and risky task. Nuclear medicine seems to be at particular risk due to its link with atomic energy agency.


Main Subjects

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